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who is invested with all Power in Heaven
as well as in Earth; who is as much sermLord where God is seen, as where he is VII'VI^ not seen j to whom every Creature, not only on Earth and in the Sea and under the Earth, but in Heaven too, ascribeth Blessing and Honour and Glory and Power for ever and ever? Surely it were strange if they who are subject to him here, where Satan hath hVd his Throne, stiould cease to be subject to him when they are removed from hence into that City, in which mail be the Throne of God and of the Lamb.
IT is clear therefore that Christ's delivering the Kingdom to the Father, does not imply the Resignation of his Authority, if by the Kingdom which he (hall deliver be meant those Persons, the Dominion over whom he hath purchased with his Blood. Which Interpretation may be farther supported by the Authority of a very antient Writer, Irenœus; who at the end of his last Book against Heresies has these remarkable Words; " The Prcsil byters the Disciples of the Apostles
——— « say, that this is the Order and Method Serm. „ 0^ Man.g salvation, and that by these I!*'II!1'* Steps they rise to Perfection. By the ** Spirit they ascend unto the Son, and ** by the Son unto the Father; the Son ?* afterwards delivering unto the Father ** his own Workmanship, as also it is « said by the Apostle 5 For he must reign y till he hath put all his, Enemies under '? bis Feet." Aud so.he goes on citing *he Words of my Text. Now it is obiervable, that this Father in citing the first Part of the Text varies the Apostle's Phrase, and by his Variation of it shews how he understood it. Eor instead of iaying as the Apostle had said, The Son ihall deliver the Kingdom to the Father; he says, The Son shall deliver to the Father his own Workmanship. Whence it is evident, that by the Kingdom hese mentioned Irenaus understood those Per» sons who are the Kingdom of God and of Christ; whom he styles God's Worktaanship in opposition to the Hereticks against whom he had been Disputing! vrho denied that God the Father of Jesus Christ was the Make* cf the World, and — r
of the Creatures in it. According then'
to the Doctrine of Irenaus, which is also i ^
the Doctrine of the sacred Writers, Men are brought unto the Son by the Guidance and Influence of the Holy Spirit; and the Son having prepared them for the beatific Vision, shall deliver them unto the Father $ who shall then by an immediate Manifestation of Himself communicate unto them the Things which Eye hath not seen, nor Ear heard, neither have entred into the Heart of Man. Which agrees exactly with what I before said.
But supposing the Word Kingdom to signify Royal Authority, the Son's delivering the Kingdom to the Father may perhaps mean, not the laying down that subordinate Authority which he receiv'd from the Father, but the abolrshmg the usufp'd Authority of Satan, and putting the Empire of the World into the Father's Hands, by bringing all Things into Subjection to Him.
"*t Indeed in strictness of Speech the
vni ^her canstot he said to receive any new
_^r_ Authority; for he is Himself the Fountain of all Authority, and hath by Necessity of Nature all Authority over all. The Kingdom and the Power are always his, and while there are Creatures in the World, he cannot but reign over them. But the Devil and his Angels have long since withdrawn their Allegiance from their Sovereign, and erected a Kingdom of their own in Opposition to His; and / have made this World which we inhabit, the Seat of their usurp'd Dominion, and drawn in Mankind to revolt from their Maker, and to_Jtake Part with them. It is one Branch of the Son's Kingly Office, to wage War with these Rebels and Usurpers, and to bring back the Kingdom to his Father. And when the Enemies of God receive any signal Defeat, and a number of Persons are rescued from their Tyranny, and iubmit themselves to the Dominion of the Father and of Christ; then in the Language of Scrip, ture the Kingdom of God is come j then
the Kingdoms of the World become the
Kingdoms of the Lord and of his Christ; serm*
. vn vm
then the Lord God Omnipotent rcignethT 'm
and taketh to him his great Power and reigneth. Now if the Kingdom of God is said then to come, when the Dragon and his Angels are overcome; if the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth, when Babylon the Great is fallen; if the Kingdoms of the World do become the Kingdoms of the Lord, and God taketh to him his great Power and reigneth, when Christ turneth the Nations from the Worship of Devils, to the Worship of the True God his Father; Why may not the Son in like manner be said to deliver the Kingdom to the Father, when he lhall wrest all this World out of the Hands of Satan, and his Accomplices shall survive only to endure the Punishment of their Apostacy; when he shall put an End to the Reign of Death, and shall deliver many Millions of his Father's Subjects from their Captivity under it, and conduct them to the City of God, there to serve and worship Him for ever